Feeds

Internet Explorer tracks cursor even when minimised

Keep calm: it’s only being exploited by adware blood-suckers ... probably

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A security researcher has published yet another reason not to use Internet Explorer for anything, under any circumstances: it can track your mouse cursor movements, even when it’s minimised.

Affecting all versions newer than IE 6.0, and with no plans for a fix by Microsoft, the bug is demonstrated here (not being an IE user, this El Reg hack hasn’t tested the game).

As the notice from spider.io states, the exploit “compromises the security of virtual keyboards and virtual keypads” – often used as a “secure” login that defeats keyloggers.

“An attacker can get access to your mouse movements simply by buying a display ad slot on any webpage you visit,” the company writes. “The vulnerability is already being exploited by at least two display ad analytics companies across billions of webpage impressions each month. As long as the page with the exploitative advertiser’s ad stays open—even if you push the page to a background tab or, indeed, even if you minimise Internet Explorer—your mouse cursor can be tracked across your entire display.”

The 21-lines-of-code exploit posted by spider.io demonstrates that JavaScript in any Webpage, or any iframe, can poll for the position of the mouse cursor via fireEvent(), because IE “populates the global Event object with some attributes relating to mouse events, even in situations where it should not”.

The Register wouldn't anticipate a fix in a hurry, since the fix would devalue a couple of billion ad-clicks. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.